Kids love to dream about becoming inventors. After all, tinkering and creativity come naturally to them. These picture and chapter books revel in the magic of creations and innovation while illuminating the other processes that are critical for success: curiosity, imagination, problem solving, and most of all, persistence. Flip through the album below to discover 13 stories that’ll get their gears spinning.

Not a Box

Age: 3-8

Here, the barest of storylines and the simplest of drawings make for a powerful book. On each spread, an unseen character queries a bunny: “Why are you sitting in a box?” “What are you doing on top of that box?” “Why are you squirting a box?” Each time, the bunny replies, “It’s not a box,” and in the next spread, we see what he sees, in his imagination: a car, a volcano, a building on fire. A reminder about the amazing depths of children’s imaginations.

Available at harpercollins.com, $14.99.

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Which book do you want to read with your kids? Share with us in a comment below!

—Emma Bland Smith